Substantial Analytical Writing Requirement

During the second or third year of law school, students must undertake a Substantial Analytic Writing (SAW) project. This experience of sustained and intensive work on a specific project is a core element of a student’s legal education. The content and format of the writing project may vary within a wide range. For example, a student may choose to examine a specific proposal for law reform, drawing on empirical research or materials from a field other than law. Alternatively, a student may choose to draw on his/her clinical experience to analyze a specific legal problem. Whatever the format, one of the central objectives of the project should assist students in developing superior writing skills. In accordance with the standard promulgated by the American Bar Association, the project must constitute a "rigorous writing experience." Students may satisfy the SAW requirement by completing a faculty supervised writing project undertaken for a minimum of two units that is certified by the supervising faculty member as satisfying the requirement of a rigorous writing experience. The writing project must be graded and may not be completed on a pass/fail basis. In general, the SAW requirement may be satisfied by a Law 340 or Law 341 independent research paper, a seminar paper, or a paper for other advanced courses. 

Below is a list of courses offered in 2020-21 where faculty have indicated the required papers might satisfy the SAW requirement. Please consult the individual faculty to verify that your work product in a given course will satisfy the requirement.

S. Chilovi A. Currie

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of law. We will begin by investigating questions in general jurisprudence, such as: what distinguishes law from other forms of social control? What,...

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R. Steinberg

This course examines the most important legal frameworks governing international trade relations between states. Focusing on the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the US-Mexico-Canada...

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K. Abou El Fadl

This course introduces students to the field of Islamic law. It is designed to give students a firm grounding in the principles, concepts and terminology of Islamic law. Islamic law is one of the...

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F. Olsen

As dissent becomes criminalized and activity that has previously been considered legitimate dissent can land one in jail, the distinction between exercising freedom of speech and engaging in civil...

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K. Abou El Fadl

This course will introduce students to international refugee law and U.S. asylum law. Some background in immigration law would be helpful, but it is not necessary. Students without any background in...

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E. Parson

This course will examine the challenges posed to legal arrangements and institutions of government by certain societal trends – principally related to technological advance and environmental stress –...

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A. Selbst

This seminar is designed for students who want to think about how the world we live in shapes and is shaped by technology, and what the role of law is or can be with respect to society and...

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J. Park

This seminar and workshop allows students to explore topics introduced in the basic corporate law and securities regulation classes in greater depth. It does so through a combination of course...

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N. Netanel D. Nimmer

Social media both underwrite a golden age of free speech and threaten to undermine democracy. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media bring unprecedented opportunities for...

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S. Hecht

This course will provide an intensive look at California’s approaches to several areas of environmental and natural resources law. California’s environmental regulatory systems raise important...

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J. Michaels

This seminar examines the increasing powerful theory and practice of "running government like a business." We will consider local, state, and federal case studies in which government operates...

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F. Restrepo

This seminar examines a range of policy issues in corporate law. We will examine these issues not only in the context of public firms (which tend to attract nearly all the attention in corporate law...

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A. Heinrich D. Lichtman K. Orso

This seminar is designed to allow students to delve deeply into current issues and controversies in patent law. The seminar is co-taught by two partners from the law firm of Irell & Manella who...

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K. Stark

“Proposition 13”—the famed “tax revolt” initiative championed by Howard Jarvis and approved by California voters in June 1978—added Article XIIIA to the California Constitution. By its terms, the...

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R. McCarl

Writing is a lawyer’s most important skill, and building that skill is a lifelong process. This course will teach you techniques used by the world’s best legal writers. You will learn to choose the...

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G. Blasi S. Cummings I. Eagly V. Narro J. Schwartz R. Sears N. Vyas

This seminar focuses on public interest lawyering through a close analysis of case studies and the discussion of recurring issues in public interest practice. In this course, students explore social...

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The seminar will focus on what (if anything) makes it morally permissible for the state to inflict “hard treatment” on people, against their will, provided they have been found guilty of criminal...

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M. Greenberg S. Munzer L. Sager S. Shiffrin

The Legal Theory Workshop brings leading scholars from around the world to discuss their works in progress with law students, graduate students in philosophy, and interested faculty. All the papers...

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A. Alben

Is there such a thing as “Internet Law,” or does the phrase encompass a variety of legal doctrines which intersect with the global network and its associated applications? In this new course, we will...

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A. Bâli K. Mackintosh J. Peake

The subset of international law relating to the conduct of war – known as international humanitarian law (IHL) or the law of armed conflict – plays a prominent role in contemporary debates about law...

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C. Hessler

This seminar explores major legal controversies afflicting the digital economy. In particular, the seminar asks how “property” and “monopoly power” should be defined to promote prosperity when...

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M. Biagioli

The rise of brands marks a fundamental shift in the law and business practice of trademarks. Trademarks have long protected marks that signal the source of a good or service to consumers, but today...

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L. Stemple

Sexual politics cut across issues in human rights, encompassing debates about gender equality, cultural relativism, sexual orientation, human trafficking, and HIV/AIDS. This seminar explores the role...

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C. Merrill

Lawyers represent their clients primarily through writing. This advanced course will enhance students’ ability to advocate effectively by honing writing skills crucial to legal success: persuasive...

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D. Vannucchi

Human Rights advocacy can be made (or broken) by the way a problem analysis is conducted, or in the way smart and achievable objectives are identified, targets are selected, or messages are...

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S. Hecht C. Horowitz

Global climate change has emerged as the most significant environmental, if not societal, issue of our era. This seminar will explore cutting-edge public policy, legal, and scientific challenges...

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J. Chacón

This seminar will explore a broad set of issues relating to noncitizens and the criminal legal system, including: the bureaucratic bonds between the criminal enforcement and immigration enforcement...

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I. Anabtawi

This seminar allows students to write a seminar paper on a topic of their choice, subject to instructor approval, in the field of mergers and acquisitions. The course consists of three parts,...

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J. Dienstag

This course will examine the important trends in European political and constitutional theory in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that is, the political theory that was current and...

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P. Arenella F. Olsen

This seminar will help prepare students to defend clients charged with crimes, especially in difficult or controversial cases. It explores how, why, and when injustices arise and develops tools to...

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M. Langer

This course provides an overview of comparative criminal procedure. Its goal is not only to study how other legal systems regulate the criminal process, but also to enable a deeper understanding of...

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K. Raustiala R. Steinberg

This course is intended for those interested in sophisticated international legal argumentation or those interested in scholarly debates over international law. The seminar will explore competing...

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L. Baldwin Clark

This course explores contemporary issues in family law. This class will look at issues that surround legally recognized family relations and how the state regulates those relationships. Topics will...

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M. Golden-Krasner A. Martinez

This course will cover the development, theories, and practice of environmental justice law, specifically analyzing the legal and policy tools used by advocates to advance environmental justice. The...

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T. Bryant J. Horwitz

Over the past several decades, the nonprofit sector has grown dramatically in wealth and prominence. So has controversy over whether the benefits provided by nonprofit organizations justify their...

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J. Kohli V. Narro

“So what is our role as lawyers? How can we make transformative work—both in our profession and our communities—real? I do not know the answers to these difficult questions. I do not even know if...

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A. Wang

Over the last 35 years, China has embarked on an unprecedented effort to build a legal system and a cadre of lawyers, judges, and law professors essentially from scratch. The progress of that effort...

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B. Emerson

This course will examine the nature of “the executive power” from legal, theoretical, and historical perspectives. The executive branch exercises vast legal authority, in the form of executive...

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D. Carbado K. Crenshaw L. Gómez

Students will participate along with faculty in the law school's weekly Critical Race Studies Workshop. Every week we will discuss a work-in-progress. These works will be presented scholars across...

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F. Olsen

In recent decades, sex discrimination scholarship has moved beyond its initial focus on legal doctrine and constitutional arguments to develop a criticism of the legal system itself. This seminar...

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R. Steinberg

This seminar briefly introduces students to international criminal law, then focuses on contemporary issues facing the International Criminal Court (ICC). At each weekly class meeting, we will...

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K. Stark

In a growing number of U.S. cities, deteriorating economic conditions have put in jeopardy standard public services most Americans take for granted: potable water, police and fire protection,...

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L. Baldwin Clark

This course will introduce students to sociology as a theoretical framework through which to understand law. The course will use sociological texts liberally to examine law “on the ground” as opposed...

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S. Falsafi

In the United States and abroad, policy makers and educators are increasingly driven by the idea that high school graduates must emerge ready to conquer college and the rapidly changing...

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K. Abou El Fadl

The course will provide an overview of the broad range of legal issues related to the growing international and domestic problem of human trafficking. Conservative estimates are that around a...

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R. Sears

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the greatest public health crises of the past four decades and has resulted in significant legislation and public policy geared toward both infected and affected...

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K. Abou El Fadl

This course will undertake a systematic study of the role of law in constructing, defining, and negotiating the Muslim “other” in the American legal system. Since the commencement of the war on...

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D. Cohen

This course will cover a full spectrum of legal issues relating to contemporary news media, including the laws of defamation, privacy, newsgathering and intellectual property. While we will focus on...

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D. Biderman T. Tobin

Food: it’s what for dinner. Recent years have seen a drastic increase in food litigation cases in federal and state courts across the country as consumers challenge food labeling, marketing, and...

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J. Wallace-Wolf

Persons have an interest in keeping some facts about themselves from others. However, the nature of this interest and its fair recognition by a legal system is complicated. After all, the government...

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L. Taylor

This two-unit course examines the judicial process and supports judicial externs. Readings and discussion will address: the roles of judges, clerks, research attorneys and externs in drafting...

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G. López

This Seminar will immerse students in “rebellious lawyering” – the name given both to a particular vision of problem solving practiced by growing numbers of lawyers and to the broad movement...

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L. Sager

Our Constitution does not include a single reference to God, yet devotes more attention to religious liberty than to any other liberty-bearing feature of our constitutional jurisprudence. And our...

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N. Zatz

This seminar imagines the legal realization of radical hope. Contemporary social movements are insisting that another world is possible, and necessary. Complementing urgent efforts to resist or...

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